It’s important that we eat plenty of different fruits and vegetables every day.
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of serious ailments. Fruits
and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other
substances that are important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are
naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.
You’ve probably heard about the 5 A Day for Better Health program. It provides
easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables into your daily eating patterns. It’s
vital that we eat a wide variety of colorful orange/yellow, red, green, white, and
blue/purple vegetables and fruit every day. By eating vegetables and fruit from
each color group, you will benefit from the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber
that each color group has to offer alone and in combination.
There’s several different yet simple ways to start incorporating vegetables and
fruit into your familiar and favorite meals. You can begin your day with 100
percent fruit or vegetable juice, slice bananas or strawberries on top of your
cereal, or have a salad with lunch and an apple for an afternoon snack. Include a
vegetable with dinner and you already have about 5 cups of fruits and
vegetables. You may even try adding a piece of fruit for a snack or an extra
vegetable at dinner.
Don’t be afraid to try something new to increase your vegetable and fruit intake.
There are so many choices when selecting fruits and vegetables. Kiwifruit,
asparagus, and mango may become your new favorite. Keep things fresh and
interesting by combining fruits and vegetables of different flavors and colors, like
red grapes with pineapple chunks, or cucumbers and red peppers.
Get in the habit of keeping fruits and vegetables visible and easily accessible –
you’ll tend to eat them more. Store cut and cleaned produce at eye-level in the
refrigerator, or keep a big colorful bowl of fruit on the table.